Friday, January 23, 2009

Memo: Federal Stimulus May Require Tuition Restrictions

A memo distributed to state lawmakers Friday suggests that colleges and universities that receive particular money from a possible federal stimulus package would be required to use it to help keep tuition costs down.
The memo, obtained by The Ky3 Political Notebook, was presented to state lawmakers in Columbia today during a meeting with University of Missouri leaders.
The 16-page document outlines the draft bill of the federal stimulus package, and the restrictions that would be involved. Under the education section, it lists $79 billion dollars for "state fiscal stabilization." It reads: "A public institution of higher education that receives funds under this title shall use the funds for education and general expenditures, and in such a way as to mitigate the need to raise tuition and fees for in-State students. An institution of higher education may not use funds received under this title for construction, renovation, or facility repair."
The Republican source from Jefferson City who provided the document said that "we've been told through channels that the House version would specifically speak to tuition increases as part of education funding."
Wording is key in all of this, and it's likely to change easily as Congress begins to piece it together.
But when I asked Governor Jay Nixon today if he had any knowledge that a tuition freeze would be a requirement for states to use economic stimulus money, he said, "no."

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